The health inspector dancing while shutting down a business in Lancaster was another painful reminder that we need a health department responsive and accountable to our local needs. The past year our businesses have been at the mercy of moving goal posts and metrics that are lumped with much more densely populated parts of L.A. County. Some of the decisions made around outdoor dining could not even be backed up by evidence in the court of law. The vaccine rollout was also rough in the beginning for the county. In contrast, Long Beach and Pasadena health departments have been more nimble and effective in navigating through this epic crisis. Long Beach has been quite effective in terms of vaccinating its residents and now is even offering it to teachers.
Forming a health department among various cities within northern L.A. County may be an expensive proposition. Part of the expense can be shared among cities and maybe partly recovered from some of the money that the county gets for this function from our area. The investment will pay off in terms of economic and social benefits of a smaller, region-specific, and responsive unit.